Jan 07, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – According to the 2019 Auditor General’s report, 744 payment vouchers totalling some $864.41 million were not presented to his office to be audited resulting in the limitation of the audit scope.
The entities in default are the Ministry of the Presidency, the Public Security Ministry and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). The report pointed out that 304 payment vouchers totalling $259.472 million were in respect to the aforementioned entities while 436 vouchers carrying a value of $576.168 million were in respect to several regions.
Included in the amounts for the Regions were 426 payment vouchers valued $545.276 million for Region Five, which represents approximately 95 percent of the total value of unpresented vouchers for the Regions.
“As a result, it could not be ascertained whether value was received for the sums involved, and whether the funds were used for the purposes intended,” Auditor General (AG), Deodat Sharma, said in his report.
Cheques on Hand
Additionally, the AG pointed out that upon the time of the audit, a number of Ministries, Departments and Regions still had cheques on hand which should have been refunded to the Consolidated Fund as at December 31, 2019 with the necessary adjustments being made to the Appropriation Accounts.
In this regard, he revealed that 588 cheques totalling $713.942 million were still on hand.
Of this summation, 273 cheques valued at $569.686 million were in relation to Ministries and Departments, while the remaining 315 totalling $144.256 million were in relation to Region Two and Four to Nine.
As a result of this, the Appropriation Accounts were overstated by $713.942 million, Sharma highlighted.
Economic Fund/Economic Project
Also noted in the report for Economic Projects, the AG pointed out that Regions Two and Six operated on a cost recovery basis with the objective of making a profit.
However, these ventures were inadequately managed and supervised.
Region Two had three advances totalling $194,000 outstanding, while Region Six incurred a loss of $7.510 million and did not present payment records to substantiate the expenditure of $3.396 million.
Most notably, however, he pointed out Region Five which operated a farm to provide agro-supplies to schools and hospitals and offer employment for persons in the Region.
This farm planted and sold cash crops. However, records to substantiate the operations of this venture revealed that amounts totalling $92.480 million were invested for the years 2016-2019, whilst only $165,000 were realized as profit for the year 2019.
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